Assorted Thursday Blather

Howdy all. So here’s an update on a few things going on.

Cool cartoon of last year's ASG.

– Yanks swept the A’s with a strong pitching performance by A.J. Burnett (didn’t I tell you all to hold on?). This is simply what A.J. does. He dominates and then he stinks and then he dominates again (see also: every year of his career).

– Cano has been pulled out of the home run derby by the Yankees who are concerned about his back issues. I have never heard about said issues, and he is still playing in the all-star game, so you have to assume it’s because they don’t want him to mess with his swing. Can’t say I blame them. Cano isn’t thrilled, but he understands.

– Teix and A-Rod are indeed fulfilling my prediction that they heat up simultaneously, and it’s making the team even more fun and dangerous. Teix hit his 15th home run of the season last night.

– The Yankees have started “Mission 33.” At 3:30, everyone is supposed to vote 33 times for Nick Swisher (#33) to send him to the all-star game on the final vote. He had a slim lead as of noon today, but we’d better be extra careful considering next in line is Kevin Youkilis, one of my least favorite players in baseball. If it helps your decision, Swish finished a triple shy of the cycle last night and smacked his 14th homer of the season.

– Doesn’t it feel like we just played Seattle? Well now we’re going Safeco, and unfortunately, we have to face the same three pitchers who dominated us (Lee, Felix, and Rowland-Smith), plus Jason Vargas, who has a 3.22 ERA. I’m trusting that the Yanks have a better idea of what to do against these guys this time, because there’s no reason the AL’s worst offense (290 runs thus far) should shut down the best team in baseball.

Fun Facts of the Day

– The Royals lead the majors (not a typo) with 608 singles.

– The Rays have been intentionally walked 9 times (fewest in MLB), the Cards 40 (most).

– The Yanks, via Fangraphs, are the fourth-most-clutch team in the bigs (3.25 WPA behind the Reds, Braves, and Rangers).

– Yankees pitchers have been pulled the second-fewest times in the MLB (204, behind Seattle’s 191). I think that’s a pretty amazing stat, especially considering Girardi’s quick trigger on reliever changes. Tells you something about the rotation.

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